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Catherine Aird is one of my favorite authors; I love British literature. I read Aird, not for her police procedures but for her droll sense of humor. I particularly love the way Sloan is put upon by the Inspector assigning young Crosby to "assist."
Crosby couldn't assist a blind person across the street, so it is always fun to see what excuse is given for sending the young constable. Usually, it is something like, "There's no one else; you'll just have to take Crosby."
Crosby's mutterings under his breath are usually priceless; he and Dr. Dabbe (the police pathologist) offer some comedy to the proceedings. I often wonder what Crosby's thoughts are about being considered the most useless member of the Berebury CID.
As I reread Aird's works, I am always impressed how her stories stand up to the passage of time. Although this work was written in the late 1960's, the style speaks of an even earlier time in history; it seems to be a "period piece."
In this first novel, Aird sets about establishing the characters in Berebury CID; and characters they all are! From "Happy Harry" (who isn't) to Sloan to Dr. Dabbe, everyone brings something to the banquet.
THE RELIGIOUS BODY is not Aird's best work (there aren't enough hints for the reader to guess the murderer), but it is a pleasant introduction to Aird's wry wit and entertaining characters!
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